A compelling event brings together company leadership and networks of customers and partners that want to hear about compelling product announcements and engage with product teams and customers. A great deal of time was spent bringing people together – live or virtually – to deliver an event. Customers and partners also dedicated time – and money – to attend the event.

After the event everyone heads off to their respective worlds. The team that put on the event congratulates itself for having achieved attendance goals and perhaps helped close a few deals. But did the event truly deliver meaningful outcomes that rewarded customers and partners for their investment, ones that they would consider making again.

You might have noticed during an event how many customers, partners, and even employees in attendance point their smart phone to the stage to grab videos and screen shots of presentations. You must wonder if this is because these attendees feel they will not have access to the content after the event. And preparing for the event was also a chore. Participants want to be able to maximize their time during the event by carefully selecting the sessions they plan to attend from tens if not hundreds of sessions. You need to ask yourself; did you make content available to attendees before the event that would help them prepare, help them make session selections, and drive attendance?

An event should not be a one-and-done activity. You spent a lot of time and money producing its content that still has a great deal of value after the event. Your event needs to keep delivering benefit to you, and value to your customers, prospects, and partners throughout the year until the next event and well after that. The content you produce for your event, anything you produce for that matter, should focus on delivering long-term value and the focus of your long tail content strategy. Keeping the conversation alive should be a goal.

To be effective you need to consider how your manufacture, assemble, and manage your content such that be discovered, used and repurposed – you need to develop a content factory mindset, one supported by tooling. You need to define what it means by delivering valuable and quality content; it’s not about the pixels but rather about the value it delivers. For this to happen you need to continually review the content you generate against your long-tail content goals ensuring that it delivers the value you expect. That assessment, supported by measurements, is intended to gauge the effectiveness of the engagement your content gets; we call this practice content activation.

In the weeks to come we will explore concepts for developing a content strategy that delivers increasing retention, reduces churn, and provides meaningful customer journeys. We will describe an approach that incorporates a content factory mindset, makes content quality the centerpiece of the strategy, and drives engagement through content activation.

This first post of this series introduces these concepts from the perspective of events, which too often are one-and-done activities. Keeping the conversation alive and maximizing the value of your investment in these events needs to be a goal.

Following our advice column that will explore these concepts more deeply.